Mentoring Students Early
Mentoring can be successful in creating interest in radiology even before a student is considering a medical career. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programs in middle and high schools are becoming prominent opportunities where radiologists can envision introducing the specialty to potential students.
“Many radiologists volunteer and engage with pre-college students,” Dr. Macura said. “Early exposure to medical specialties, especially for women, can inspire an interest to pursue that field through further education. And if you have made a connection with that student, that can result in a positive mentoring relationship.”
Dr. Meltzer says nearly all STEM fields suffer from lack of women seeking training.
“There is extensive evidence that early socialization, societal constructs and implicit bias contribute to deterring young women from being exposed to design and mechanical learning,” Dr. Meltzer said. “If we can engage girls and young women in early pre-medical education, we could empower them to consider STEM fields, such as radiology.”